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Category: USA (Page 1 of 6)

A beautiful, broken America.

‘American Exceptionalism’ as defined in Wikipedia, is the belief that the United States is either distinctive, unique, or exemplary compared to other nations.

The intelligence chiefs of the ‘Five Eyes’ security alliance join Dr. Condoleezza Rice on stage to discuss current threats facing democratic nations

The Five Eyes is a coalition of five countries » Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It grew from the 1946 BRUSA agreement, shortly after the end of World War II, to share intelligence and coordinate security efforts. The five member countries have a long history of trust and cooperation, and they share a commitment to common values.

More » FBI | Toronto Star | The Guardian | Globe & Mail | CBC | ABC (Australia) | AFR

Driver will soon be charged a hefty toll to drive into downtown Manhattan

The new toll beginning in spring 2024, is expected to be between US$9 and $23 per day for passenger vehicles. Commercial vehicles will be charged upon each entry and exit to the zone.

Regional planners believe the toll will nudge some drivers onto transit. The MTA plans to use the proceeds from congestion pricing to shore up its aging infrastructure.

Why New York Will Charge $23/Day To Drive Into Manhattan

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Banned in Texas » The Diary of Anne Frank

Anne Frank, a young Jewish German teenager, journaled her experiences as she and her family hid for two years in an attic during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II.

Anne and her family were apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

Her diary, which was first published in 1947, has since been published in more than 70 languages, and used in schools around the world for decades to educate students on the the Holocaust.

History is repeating itself. This time the USA.

The Chron »

A Texas middle school teacher has been fired after assigning an unapproved illustrated version of Anne Frank’s Diary to her eighth grade reading class. Per a report from KFDM, a spokesperson for Hamshire-Fannett ISD, located south of Beaumont, released a statement confirming the teacher was sent home on Wednesday after reading a passage from Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation in which Frank wrote about male and female genitalia. An investigation into the incident has since ensued.

Meanwhile

The Guardian »

Ariana Grande, Guillermo del Toro, Mark Ruffalo and Amanda Gorman are among the over 175 actors, entertainers, authors, activists and others who have signed an open letter calling on Hollywood to use their influence to oppose book bans.

The letter, spearheaded by Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton and published via the political advocacy organization MoveOn Political Action, calls out books bans in US schools as “restrictive behavior” that is “antithetical to free speech and expression”. It also emphasizes the “chilling effect” the bans, often implemented at the local level, can have “on the broader creative field”.

YouTube under no obligation to host anti-vaccine advocate’s videos, US court rules

Ars Technica »

A prominent anti-vaccine activist, Joseph Mercola, yesterday lost a lawsuit attempting to force YouTube to provide access to videos that were removed from the platform after YouTube banned his channels.

Mercola had tried to argue that YouTube owed him more than $75,000 in damages for breaching its own user contract and denying him access to his videos. However, in an order dismissing Mercola’s complaint, US magistrate judge Laurel Beeler wrote that according to the contract Mercola signed, YouTube was “under no obligation to host” Mercola’s content after terminating his channel in 2021 “for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines by posting medical misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.” »

Far-right violence a growing threat and law enforcement’s top domestic terrorism concern in the USA

The Proud Boys played a critical part in carrying out the Jan. 6 attack, but the group is just one part of a trend of increased white supremacist and far-right violence. Top U.S. law enforcement officials say those extremist movements are the biggest domestic terrorism threat facing the country. Laura Barrón-López discussed the rise of far-right extremism with Kathleen Belew and Seamus Hughes.

Far-right violence a growing threat and law enforcement's top domestic terrorism concern

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Harvard U is advising graduate students sign up for government food assistance programs

Vice »

This is notable in part because Harvard’s graduate student workers have gone on strike twice in the last several years in part over their low pay from the university. It’s also notable because Harvard is one of the richest academic institutions in the world, and has the largest endowment of any university in the world, with around $50 billion under management.

The Harvard Graduate Students Union says there are way better ways to help grad students—like, maybe, just paying them.

Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis’ media conference after a grand jury delivered a 41-count indictment

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ media conference after a grand jury delivered a 41-count indictment alleging 19 defendants “unlawfully conspired and endeavored to conduct and participate in a criminal enterprise” after former President Trump lost the election

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks after Trump election case indictment is unsealed

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More people died by suicide in the US in 2022 than any other year on record, according to the US CDC

At least 49,449 lives were lost due to intentional self-harm in the US in 2022 — nearly 15 deaths for every 100,000 people, reports CNN. Suicide rose to the 11th leading cause of death in 2021, and provisional data for 2022 shows the same. It falls just below chronic liver disease and above influenza and pneumonia.

Firearms were involved in more than half of all suicides in 2022.

Did John Eastman confess to treason when he admitted their ultimate goal was to overthrow the government and seize power

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo »

He invokes the Declaration of Independence and says quite clearly that yes, we were trying to overthrow the government and argues that they were justified because of the sheer existential threat America was under because of the election of Joe Biden.

Jan 6th conspirators have spent more than two years claiming either that nothing really happened at all in the weeks leading up to January 6th or that it was just a peaceful protest that got a bit out of hand or that they were just making a good faith effort to follow the legal process. Eastman cuts through all of this and makes clear they were trying to overthrow (“abolish”) the government; they were justified in doing so; and the warrant for their actions is none other than the Declaration of Independence itself.

And they haven’t stopped trying, have they?

CEOs’ pay increased as much as tens of millions of dollars just before layoffs at tech giants like Alphabet and Microsoft

Max Zahn, ABC News »

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai was awarded compensation worth more than $225 million in 2022, which marked a staggering 3,474% increase from the previous year, making him the nation’s highest-paid CEO, according to Equilar data.

Near the outset of 2023, Alphabet announced plans to lay off 10,000 workers.

At Microsoft, which initiated plans to lay off 10,000 workers in January, CEO Satya Nadella received compensation worth nearly $55 million in 2022 — a 10% jump from the prior year, the data showed.

Meta, Uber and Salesforce are also among more than a dozen tech companies that gave their CEOs a compensation increase last year, despite announcing layoffs at some point since the start of 2022, according to the ABC News analysis of the Equilar data.

Roughly 389,000 tech workers have been laid off since the beginning of 2022, according to Layoffs.fyi, a site that tracks layoffs. The job cuts have befallen some of the nation’s most well-known and large companies.

Three-quarters of GOP Republicans believe the economy should be given priority over climate change

NPR »

A majority of respondents – 53% – said addressing climate change should be given priority even at the risk of slowing the economy. That included 80% of Democrats and 54% of independents.

But almost three-quarters of Republicans (72%) said the economy should be given priority, even at the risk of ignoring climate change. That is up 13 points since 2018 – despite the increases in climate-change-related weather disasters.

1 in 4 new cars sold in California last quarter were EVs

LA Times »

More than 25% of all new vehicles sold in the last quarter were EVs, according to the California Energy Commission, with sales for the three-month period totaling 125,939.

California has sold more than 1.6 million electric vehicles to date and accounts for 34% of all EV sales in the country, according to a market report by the nonprofit Veloz, which raises awareness about electric vehicles.

California leads the nation in promoting electric vehicle sales, having invested more than $5 billion to transition the state away from gas-powered vehicles.

Watch Mike Pence say Trump and ‘gaggle of crackpot lawyers’ asked him to overturn election

In an interview broadcasted on the right-wing Fox network, Former Vice President Mike Pence said Donald Trump personally asked him to “reject votes” on January 6.

Said Pence » “Let’s be clear on this point. It wasn’t that they asked for a pause. The president specifically asked me and his gaggle of crackpot lawyers asked me to literally reject votes which would have resulted in the issue of being turned over to the house of representatives.”

He added: “They asked me to reject votes, return votes, essentially to overturn the election.”

Mike Pence says Trump and ‘gaggle of crackpot lawyers’ asked him to overturn election

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More at » Axios | UPI | NY Times

This is why Donald J. Trump is indicted for Conspiring to Defraud the United States.

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